Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Being and Doing - Spirit Rising!

Burning Bush @
  What I Have Left Behind, by Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of -- indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

Being and Doing. It is the Mary and Martha story. It is the way of life. We are. And we do. Contemplation (being) and action (doing). Being is about our relationship with God, who we are in God and with God. Being can refer to both substance and stillness and is cultivated through presence in prayer. Being is inner work. Jesus went to pray often, to nourish his identity in God, to enable his connection to the Father so as to charge and balance his ability to minister in the physical world. It was necessary, it IS necessary to be still and know. It fuels the heart for action.

Doing is our relationship with others. Doing is the great commission. It is the love and compassion of our source distributed to the world by our doing, by our action, by our relationships with others. Doing is outer work. It is the Spirit of Being moving the world of form.

Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, contemplative and social activist, spoke of contemplation and action as a spring. "Contemplation without action is like the spring without the streams flowing out of it, stagnant and useless. Likewise, the streams of our actions, when not resulting from contemplation, cannot serve God's purpose for us."

We need to live as though being determines our doing, rather than as though doing determines our being. Robert Mulholland, Invitation to a Journey 

May the Spirit of God "ignite" your being and charge your doing in this most blessed day!

© Peggy Beatty 2011


  1. What a beautiful reflection with which to start a spring morning. Starting one's day with Oliver and Merton is always a good thing! Thank you, Peggy.

  2. Thank you so much Kate! Glad you are enjoying my posts! Peggy